Memorial Day will be observed throughout the North Country, but this weekend belongs to the community of Crown Point. For 145 years it has been marking the occasion, every year since the end of the Civil War, each year a little bigger and better.
It may be the longest continuous Memorial Day event in the nation.
That’s the way it should be since Crown Point men played a prominent role in the founding of the Memorial Day holiday.
Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day began in the south after the Civil War. Inspired by the bravery displayed in the battle of Gettysburg, the bloodiest fight in American history with nearly 55,000 causalities, southerners began to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers as a sign of respect and appreciation.
The custom quickly spread to the north, where people were just as impressed with the gallantry shown at Gettysburg and throughout the Civil War. New York became the first state to officially recognize Memorial Day in 1873.
Crown Point can and should take pride in its own contributions to freedom. Men from Crown Point were at Gettysburg—a monument stands to their unit there. More than 100 men from Crown Point, an amazing number from a community of its size, formed Company H of the 5th New York Cavalry under the command of John Hammond (A monument to Hammond stands in Crown Point’s Forrestdale Cemetery.). The unit distinguished itself throughout the Civil War.
Crown Point men also fought in Adirondack Regiment, 118th N.Y., seeing action in many of the Civil War’s bloodiest battles.
And those brave souls weren’t alone. Crown Point has contributed to each and every American conflict, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice.
This year’s Memorial Day celebration will be held May 26 and 27.
Crown Point’s festivities will include an ecumenical church service, a parade, fireworks, amusement rides, entertainment and vendors. But it’s important to note the community understands the significance of Memorial Day. Each year’s observance is built around the town’s traditional “solemn cemetery tour.”
The tour includes stops at each of the community’s cemeteries, where Boy Scouts present the colors, “Taps” is played, the school chorus sings and a speaker notes the importance of the place and people buried there. The tour concludes at the Veterans Monument in the town park at noon.
This year’s Memorial Day in Crown Point carries added significance. Crown Point is celebrating the 225th year of its founding.
Congratulations to Crown Point for 225 years of history and for 145 years of reminding us of the true meaning of Memorial Day.